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Twin Falls Mill Stones

The Marion Foley Grist Mill & its Stones

 

Marion Foley (Folia?) was born in Wyoming County WV in 1854. His parents had moved from Virginia and settled at an unknown address in Wyoming County.
Marion married Martha Viard of Virginia in 1877 and in 1880 he purchased sixty acres of land located near Cabin Creek Falls. With the help of his faithful wife, John Wyatt, a thought to be brother in law, and a host of area neighbors, he began building the Foley Mill. The work was completed in 1882.
The most difficult task was the construction of the huge 28 foot diameter water wheel. Next in importance was the crafting of the 42 inch mill stones (burrs). The grey colored granite like rock was found nearby and pulled by horse and sled to the mill location. The rock was tediously hand chiselled into two round stones. A square hole was cut through one while a round hole with keyholes was cut through the second stone. Finally the stones were dressed with sharp grooves for grinding meal. Later thses grooves would have to be sharpened as they were worn down during the milling operation. All this work was performed with a hammer and chisel, and it is amazing today to view the precision with which the work was done.

Foley's Mill was kept busy furnishing meal to the area farmers, but in about 1890 a disgruntled neighbor saw fit to burn the mill. Again, Foley's good neighbors came to the rescue and within a few months rebuilt the mill.

Marion Foley served the area until the early 1900's when he rented his home and mill to Troy Waddell. Mr Waddell built a turbine or tub mill just above Foley's Mill. Waddell ground meal until about 1925 when he moved away abandoning both his and Foley's Mill. Neither mill was ever operated again. Today the remains of Foley's Mill can be seen about 100 yards below Marsh Fork Falls. The ruins are the huge foundation rock wall, three axle supporting piers, and the trench flume running from above the falls.

Marion Foley's mill stones (burrs) remained at the rapidly decaying mill house until about 1938, when Mr C. H. Meade, of Ravencliffe, WV detailed Mr Vern 'Maggie' Belcher and a crew of Ravencliffe Gas Company employees with a truck and a wench to Marsh Fork Falls. Belcher and his men loaded and trucked the mill stones to Meade's home at Ravencliffe. The stones were displayed in his yard until the early 1940's. After his death Mrs. Meade sold the land and home to Ed and Galena Kerns of McGraws, WV. After Ed's death Galena sold the land, house and mill stones to Jerry Pack. About 1985 Jimmy Acord of Jesse, WV, bought the mill stones from Mrs Pack and moved them to Jesse.

July 13, 1994 Jimmy and Nancy Acord donated the mill stones to Twin Falls State Park. The Park located them near the lodge where they can be seen by everyone.